Installing a DCC decoder in a Hornby Grange Steam Loco that is DCC Ready

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Hornby Grange

This installation really is one of the most straightforward in a steam loco as the engine is DCC ready. The most difficult part is relocating the chassis into the body ensuring that the fine details at the rear are not broken and that the sandpipes are located correctly.

You will need a small Phillips screwdriver to undo the screw securing the body to the chassis.

Before installing chip into any loco it is advisable to check the current being drawn by the loco.

The underside of the Grange


The body is secured to the chassis with just 1 screw, at the rear under the footplate.

The body can then be lifted gently away from the chassis. There is a lug at the front of the chassis so pull the chassis away from the body at the rear first. Be careful as you try to separate the two parts as there are some very fine body details that could get damaged with rough handling.


Location of NMRA socket in Grange

The loco is DCC ready, having a socket installed in the middle of the loco. Gently lever the dummy plug out of the socket.

There is plenty of space inside the front of the loco for a small decoder. This installation used a TCS MC2-UK decoder, one of the smallest decoders on the market, with a short harness for UK locos, though a TCS DP2X-UK with no wires would also be suitable for this installation.


Locating decoder in boiler

Firmly push the plug attached to the decoder into the socket, being careful not to bend the pins. Make sure the decoder is correctly orientated, with the orange wire at the rear right as you look from the rear of the loco .

It is also possible to disable the capacitor by cutting through one of the legs securing the capacitor to the motor with a pair of wire cutters. This action is recommended to improve the performance of the loco with a decoder installed, but be aware that disabling the capacitor may invalidate your warranty.

It is suggested that you do any programming of the decoder, before replacing the body.

The decoder wires will need to be folded so that the decoder can be located inside the boiler but do not fold the wires back on themselves - rather push any excess wire into the front of the boiler, or else the chassis will not fit back correctly on the body.

Replace the body carefully making sure that the sand pipes at the rear are correctly located.


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